11

January, 2022

Bird Photography, Photo tour

Kruger National Park

Kruger Safari January 8 – Photo Tour

Kruger Safari January 8 – The team left Head Quarters at 04h30 in White River and entered the Kruger National Park through the Phabeni Gate at 05h30 on our way to Satara, our overnight camp. Not even 500 m after the first sighting was of a breeding pair of saddle billed storks in the first river crossing. As this Kruger January 8 Safari was a bird photography specific tour, we have compiled a gallery at the end for you to enjoy.

As it normally happens, the best laid plans often go pear shaped when on game drive, and the encounter with a new coalition of 6 Kruger lions was amazing. (More on this sighting in another blog post in the next few weeks). Here are two images captured by the amazing Caroline herself.

Image by Caroline Aveley (c) 2022

Image by Caroline Aveley (c) 2022

Image by Caroline Aveley (c) 2022

Kruger Safari January 8 – Photo Tour

Moving along we decided to take the S65 and visit some of the natural pans that have formed after all the rain. We found a few lovely birds and general game. When we reached the midway section of the track, we found 2 lionesses with young cubs drinking milk from mom. A static sighting but the moment was amazing with a with nice open visibility.

From here we moved to Transport dam and slowly moved along to Skukuza 4 ways where we stopped off at a spotted hyena den with this youngster sunning himself. We then took the H1-2 towards Tshokwane on the Kruger Safari January 8.

Image by Caroline Aveley (c) 2022

Image by Caroline Aveley (c) 2022

It was starting to warm up and the road up towards Tshokwane was extremely quiet. As we reached the “Leeupan” turn in (8km from Tshokwane, we were surprised to find 18-20 African Wild Dogs chilling next to the road. It was incredible to spend about 30 min with them while they moved around from shade to share and interacted. There were very few cars, and it was quiet and enjoyable experience.

Image by Caroline Aveley (c) 2022

Image by Caroline Aveley (c) 2022

Image by Caroline Aveley (c) 2022

We popped into the pan and enjoyed two elephants bathing and some great birding. It started to rain and a brief storm front passed as we slowly moved north towards Satara. General game and good birding was very well received by all. After checking in at Satara we did and afternoon drive and enjoyed an amazing event with dozens of birds and eagles feeding on insects prior to a huge storm hitting the area. This was the end of the Kruger Safari January 8.

In summer the Kruger camp gates open at 04h30 and we were ready and waiting with a Kruger fanatic from the UK, Helen who joined in on the morning drive north of camp. We left in the dark and slowly drove north along the H1-4. We heard a Giant Eagle Owl calling and stopped to scan the darkness and found it nestled right next to the road calling its partner.

Next, we turned off onto the S90 and as the sun rise broke through the clouds, we found a Black Backed Jackal family bonding and enjoyed a good few minutes photographing them. We came across two massive bull elephants strolling along in front of us, and it was great to one of the older big bulls with a single impressive tusk.

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

All was quiet and we decided to stop at the Gudzani Dam for a coffee and take in the amazing morning view. As we left a friendly Kruger Fan told us to turn right along the S100 and see what is waiting a few meters along. Yes, we found and amazing pride of lions resting in the shade. It was not great for photographs until…..

One of the males got up, yawned, and walked directly towards us. What a stroke of luck. After a short stay, we deiced to take the loop road to the H6 and enjoyed some landscapes and great birding before returning back to camp for breakfast and to say goodbye to Helen.

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

After a hearty breakfast we made our way back via Leeupan for some excellent birding including seeing a Dwarf Bittern and Lesser Moorhen. Below is a full gallery of the birds we photographed during the trip. As we were on the last stretch to Phabeni gate we enjoyed the sightings of a Spotted Hyena, Gorgeous locust and as if saying have a great week, a beautiful young leopard.

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

Wild Expressions (c) 2022

Enjoy the gallery below and don’t forget to look at the link above to see what we can do for you on planning an amazing Kruger adventure.

Safari Greetings

Caroline

“The creatures that inhabit this earth-be they human beings or animals-are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.” – The Dalai Lama

Kruger Safari January 8 – Photo Tour Bird Photos

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